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Church of St Mary

A Grade II Listed Building in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.6868 / 51°41'12"N

Longitude: -4.239 / 4°14'20"W

OS Eastings: 245321

OS Northings: 201043

OS Grid: SN453010

Mapcode National: GBR GQ.WZW5

Mapcode Global: VH3M9.GVVS

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 25 November 2003

Last Amended: 25 November 2003

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 82065

Location: Within a large churchyard and prominently sited in a high position on the NE side of Burry Port.

County: Carmarthenshire

Community: Pembrey and Burry Port Town (Pembre a Phorth Tywyn)

Community: Pembrey and Burry Port Town

Locality: Burry Port

Built-Up Area: Burry Port

Traditional County: Carmarthenshire

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Burry Port

History

Built by Wilson, Willcox & Wilson, architects of Bath, and completed in 1877. Its patrons were the Elkington family of Birmingham, founders in 1849 of the Pembrey Copperworks close to Burry Port harbour.

Exterior

A Gothic Revival church comprising an aisled nave with lower chancel, S porch and SE tower and spire. Of rock-faced stone with Bath stone dressings, quoins, sill bands and corbel table, and slate roof behind coped gables on moulded kneelers. Mostly plate-traceried windows with slender hood moulds. The buttressed 4-bay nave has 2-light aisle windows, and 3-light clerestorey windows between shallow full-height buttresses. The aisles have similar 2-light W windows, the nave a higher 3-light window with head stops. The S porch, in the bay L of centre, has a 2-centred arch with head stops, double wooden gates, leading to a triple-chamfered S doorway and double boarded doors with strap hinges.

The 3-stage tower has angle buttresses in the lower 2 stages, with gabled caps. In the middle stage the ringing chamber has, in the W and S faces, 2 narrow lights under a round plate-tracery light and hood mould with head stops. The richer bell stage has 2-light openings, with ringed colonette, leaf capital, and pointed lights under a continuous hood. An impost band has a disc frieze. The cornice has blind arcading and the broach spire, of ashlar, has lucarnes in the cardinal directions. A polygonal NE turret is square at the base where there is a boarded door under a shouldered lintel. At the top of the turret, at the 2nd stage, are paired narrow round-headed lights in each facet, beneath a pyramidal stone roof.

The chancel has angle buttresses, and 3-light plate-tracery E window with head stops. Below the apex is an empty canopied niche on a corbelled grotesque. On the N side of the chancel are stone steps to a basement boiler room. The N vestry has a pyramidal slate roof on a moulded cornice, and a tall stack above the E wall, the upper portion of which is ashlar. It has a 2 pointed E window, a 2-light square-headed N window, to the R of which is a boarded door under a shouldered lintel, and with nook shafts above the level of a sill band.

Interior

The nave has 4-bay arcades in early French Gothic style, with round piers and foliage capitals with square abaci, and clerestorey sill band. The high 2-centred chancel arch has an inner order on moulded corbels. The nave has a crown post roof, the chancel a roof of closely spaced rafters with scissor braces. Across the chancel arch is a screen base of stone, with pierced quatrefoils. In the chancel are elaborate C13 style sedilia with cusped arches on marble shafts, and crocketed gables. The chancel S wall has a tall arch to the organ recess at the base of the tower. A late Gothic style reredos, of 1927 by Mowbray & Co, has 4 canopied niches with figures of St David, Virgin and Child, Mary Magdalene and St Illtyd. It is flanked by simpler wooden panelling with brattishing.

The polygonal font has marble shafts around the stem, and alabaster bowl. The stone pulpit stands on 4 squat clustered shafts, and each facet has blind arches with diaper infill in low relief. Plain pews have moulded ends. Choir stalls have open arcaded fronts and moulded ends. In the chancel N wall is a simple 1914-18 war memorial brass plaque, by F Osborne & Co of London, to the design of Herbert Wauthier.

The E window, depicting the Ascension, is dated 1877, attributed to Hardman of Birmingham. In the S aisle, at the E end, is a window depicting Christ teaching, c1958, and next to it a 1939-45 war memorial window depicting SS Mary and Illtyd, attributed to Powell of London. The centenary W window, dated 1978 by Celtic Studios of Swansea, depicts the Last Judgement. In the N aisle is a window with naïve interpretation of the Creation, dated 2000 by Janet Hardy.

Reasons for Listing

Listed as a prominent High Victorian parish church with impressive and well-detailed interior.

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